Rescued from Posterous
Eating is an addiction. It may not be a chemical one like alcohol or heroin, but its hold is no less intense. Like those addicted to gambling, food is something in my life I cannot properly control. Why is this? What is it about food that I can't stop at an appropriate level? I have no other vices; I drink very little alcohol, I have never taken illegal drugs, I don't even take painkillers unless absolutely necessary. I don't gamble, I've never had so much as a single draw on a cigarette, so I can't understand why eating is such a problem. Perhaps it is because I don't have these vices that food is the only thing I have, but why should this be so? No doubt you could delve deep into Freud and talk about oral fixation, but I think it could be simpler than that. I've always had a small, but very close, family (only child and only grandchild). Many of my best childhood memories are tightly attached to family meals, celebrating, going out, general good times. This association between meals and happy memories is one I can't shake. Food, for me, is synonymous with good times.
For several years, in my late teens and early twenties, I struggled with borderline depression. I would spend days in slumps where getting out of bed was an effort, where I would cut myself and where the only thing I could do to relieve the feelings was to eat. It was a comfort, a way to short circuit my brain into something approaching a normal state. Although I rarely feel this way anymore, I now have a mindset where periods of inactivity are easily filled with a trip to the fridge.
Food makes me feel good, it coats my brain in a fuzzy glow of happiness. It is like a drug, I need constant stimulation to maintain the high. I can't resist the idea of multiple taste inputs. If I order Chinese, I can't just order a meal. I need to order two or three starters too because I can't stand the idea of only one taste, I need three or four. It's not so much the amount as the variety, but I hate to throw food out, so it all gets eaten.
How do I break this? A couple of people have said "allow yourself a treat or you won't stick to it", but this is an addiction. I can't stop at just one. You don't suggest that an alcoholic has the odd drink, they have to go teetotal. That's what I need to do. Nothing I eat can be non-diet food. Because if I start, I can't stop. I also need a support group, which is why I am doing this in such a public way. I have to look at you and admit my failings. Twitter and Posterous will be my confessional. My name is Stuart, and I am addicted to food.
Rescued from Posterous
Ok, I'm going to make 2010 the year that I take my weight in hand. I've been overweight since I was about 15 and seriously overweight since I was about 21, meaning it has been out of control for over a decade. I've had enough. I want to be able to play for an hour in the park with the kids without getting out of breath. I want to be able to go into M&S or Next and be able to get clothes that fit me. I want to sit in tiny chairs in fancy coffee shops without feeling uncomfortable. And I definitely don't want to have a heart attack before I turn 40. I'm lazy, I know this, and I don't think that's something I can change. I rarely stick to exercise so I'm not going to pretend I'm going to do a daily walk or anything. Doesn't mean I won't, but don't bet on it. However, what I will be doing is cutting way, way back on the stuff I eat, especially those high in fat items that I love like pastry and cheese. I'll be cutting out "munchies" from my life. I'll be eating smaller portions. I'll be removing takeaways (sorry @niftynosh).
I'm going to do this in public. I'm going to bare my soul, keep nothing secret. I'll be posting my weight and clothes sizes. I'm going to snap a photo of everything I eat and post it here to give a historical record of what I did (and didn't do) right. I am going to be posting pictures of what I look like with nothing but a pair of boxer shorts (don't look if you don't want to see).
If I can't find the strength of will to do this, perhaps I can shame or embarass myself into it.
What do I want you to do?
Encouragement is good. Criticism is better. If I post that I've eaten a pizza, chastise me (exceptions allowed for birthdays). If I haven't posted, shout at me. I have a Twitter account for this: @stuartsdiet which is the easiest way to contact me. I'm open to suggestions as to the best way to reach my goal.
On the first of January I will be starting. On that day I will post the first pictures, weights, measurements and what I hope to achieve.
In the meantime, I'm going to stuff my face over Christmas :)
Allow you to download a free gift from iTunes direct from your iPhone or iPod TouchNow, this could just mean that the app will open the link to the iTunes app to give you your free song, music video, TV episode, or movie. But much more intriguing would be if the app downloaded these directly into your iTunes library. Could we see Apple opening access to third party apps that can start to interact with iTunes library on the phone to add content? Imagine a band app that could add music directly to the phone's music library, or a YouTube downloader? Maybe a game that allows you to save replays to your video library? Sure, they would need to get through the approval process first, but opening this up to third party apps would be a great move forward. The free downloads start from the 26th of December, but the app is available now and will send you push notifications when each download is available.
I am an early 30s voter who has never been convinced that voting really makes a difference.
I would be interested in sitting down with someone from the party and giving them fifteen minute to convince me why they should get my vote. I would like to record this and make it available online for the many like me who are, shall we say, politically apathetic.
Please let me know if this is a possibility.
- Diane Dodds (DUP) - Response from Clive McFarland (2nd)
- Bairbre de Brun (Sinn Fein) - Reponse from Brian Keane then Niall Ó Donnghaile with offer to meet in Stormont (5th)
- Jim Nicholson (Conservative/Ulster Unionist) - Response from Alex Kane to organise a meeting
- Alban Maguinness (SDLP)
- Ian Parsley (Alliance) - Phoned to say they were hectic this weekend, but would sort someone out next week, most likely Ian Parsley (3rd)
- Steven Agnew (Green) - Responded in person (1st)
- Jim Allister (Traditional Unionist Voice) - Response from Sammy Morrison with campaign literature. Sent reply pushing for 1to1 time (4th) UPDATE: No, they won't talk to me.
Steven Agnew - Green PartyHi Stuart, I would be happy to meet up to try to convince you and your readers/listeners that it is worth voting. However it is about more than just putting a number in a box, it's about playing an active role in your community. Similarly a politician has to do more than just turn up every few years looking for your vote. Blogging is part of active engagement. The internet has made 'community' much bigger but it's still community. Part of my inspiration for getting into politics was Jello Biafra's 'Become the Media' spoken word album. His message was simple "Don't hate the media, become the media" ie if your don't like the message you're hearing spread your own. Your doing that with your blog, I'm doing it through political campaigning. Anyhow, I'll try to save some for the interview. Am I right in thinking your based in Bangor? I could meet you in the Green Party office on Abbey Street on Monday at 4pm if that suits. Alternatively we can arrange to meet at Stormont some time. Let me know a time that would suit you and we'll chat then. Cheers, Steven.
Clive McFarland - DUPStuart, Thanks for your email to the party. It has been passed on to myself for a response. I would be happy to try and help you in what you are trying to achieve. I'd also be happy to talk to you at some stage. If necessary you can come here to our party headquarters and record something, or alternatively a phone interview might suffice. We're certainly keen to encourage everyone to participate in the democratic process and do whatever we can to increase people's access to politics. Regards Clive McFarland Policy Office FOLLOW UP Stuart, Just following up again after your last email - apologies that you had trouble replying. Technology has a habit of playing up at the worst times... I should be able to confirm with you tomorrow exactly what time would suit best to do the interview. Depending on where you're based there might be the chance of speaking to Diane in person if we were nearby at the right time. Again though I'd be able to confirm that more definitely tomorrow. Regards Clive
Alliance Party (sorry, didn't catch the name)Phoned me to let me know they had a really busy week/weekend with paperwork, but weren't ignoring me and would sort someone out next week, which would probably be Ian Parsley because "he's good at these sort of things".
Sammy Morrison - Traditional Unionist VoiceDear Mr Gibson, Thank you for your email. I have attached some information about the party and our candidate, Mr Allister. Should you wish to discuss any of the issues raised in them please do not hesitate to get back to me. Kind regards, Sammy Morrison UPDATE - response to request to actually meet someone from the party Dear Mr Gibson, I am afraid this is not possible. I am, however, very happy to answer any questions you may have via email. Kind regards, Sammy Morrison
Brian Keane/Niall Ó Donnghaile - Sinn FeinStuart a chara, I could make points by email but clearly that is not what you are looking for. Can you give me an indication of what part of the country you are in and I can try to arrange something. Is mise Brian Keane -- Stuart a chara, Your e-mail regarding an interview with someone from Sinn Féin on the issue of voting has been passed on to me. I would be happy to arrange something with you to get a chat on this issue. It would most likely take place here in Stormont in that suits you ok? I could also do it over the telephone, I'm sure you can appreciate it is a busy time for us in Sinn Féin, we are fighting an election in every constituency in Ireland and trying to convince as many people as possible to vote for change and a strong voice in Europe. Feel free to contact me to discuss the issue further. Go raibh maith agat, Is mise, Niall Ó Donnghaile
Alex Kane - UUPHi Stuart, I am quite willing to have a chat with you. Perhaps you could let me have a few dates and times which would suit and we can try and tie down a time? Regards Alex. Alex. Kane UUP Director of Communications
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A heading element briefly describes the topic of the section it introduces. Heading information may be used by user agents, for example, to construct a table of contents for a document automatically.The argument I believe some people put forward to not use it for the logo/company name is that it should be used for the most important section of a page i.e. telling you what the page is about. I would argue that a page on a site is a sub category of the overall site structure and therefore the company/site name is the defining piece of information to describe the page. Typically, I will mark up a page logo inside an h1 pair with the assumption that, if images are disabled, the alt text with the company name will therefore be displayed with h1 styling, making it the most prominent heading on the page. (We can get into the discussion of displaying header text off-screen for SEO at another time.) Let's take a fictional example. Assume there is a company called, I don't know, Disney. We can assume they make insipid yet strangely compelling children's movies. Let's also assume that brand recognition is pretty important to them. They might have a site that looks like this:
The rank of a header element is the same as for an h1 element (the highest rank).My argument is this: is the title of a page the most important element to you. If you were forced to create a site using nothing but <h1-h6> and <p>, would you omit the name of the site or rank it at a lower level than the title of the page? You can register your side of the argument by making a tweet with the hashtag #h1logo or #h1title and they will automatically pick up on it. You can also follow @h1debate on Twitter.